The second half of The Horse Whisperer certainly lost its momentum. It’s one of those books that’s easy to read (I got through it in just under a week), but I’ve been putting off this review because I didn’t like it. So, not sure if I was really aching to write this post. The prose of the book isn’t even bad! Aside from some awkward sex scenes, but then, I don’t even read romance novels so I may not be an authority on what makes a GOOD sex scene.
I will say this, I enjoyed the movie far more. This was one of those rare instances where the movie was definitely better than the book. Fight me, this film came out in 1998. Where the movie succeeded and the book didn’t, to me, was making the focus not Annie, but Annie and Grace’s relationship. There’s an equal weight to both of their arc’s. Come to think of it, I don’t even think Annie has an arc in the book. She starts out a selfish, controlling woman who continues to be selfish and controlling up until the end, cheats on her husband and gets pregnant by the man she “truly loves.”
Everything is all well and good in her world when all you want is for her to nose-dive off a cliff.
The only sad part is when Tom is trampled by a herd of wild mustang (actually super random and kinda funny) and dies. Really, he should be thankful, he would have had to spend the rest of his life with one helluva woman.
The film keeps Tom alive at the end and has Annie “doing the right thing” and going back to her family. Sure, the story doesn’t have to end on a moral high note, but I think it felt like a more natural ending to this saga, otherwise, what was that all for? Going back to my Gone With the Wind analogy, it’s not like at the conclusion of that story where Rhett’s walking away, and you get it, but there’s a small part of you thinking: “But they should be together! I don’t know why because she’s terrible, but they should! ”
Nicholas Evans, I am way late to this gravy train, but this book was not the business.